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Have you heard the saying, “Work smarter, not harder”. It sounds great but how do you actually do that? We are all so busy. It’s a struggle to get everything done and it’s overwhelming to think about all the things we haven’t done. I’ve been there, which is why I went on the hunt to find out how to save time. These time saving hacks will help you find smarter ways to work by saving you time.
1.) Plan Your Week and Day
Having a weekly plan and a daily schedule will take a little bit of time and effort at the beginning of the week but it will end up saving you time in the long run. There will be less time spent on unimportant tasks and you’ll have clear steps of what needs to be done next.
Creating a schedule doesn’t mean you’ll have no flexibility in your day. A schedule can actually help you shift things around and know if you have time to add something more into your day.
2.) aim for good enough, not perfection
If you have perfectionist tendencies, you probably spend a lot of time making sure things are perfect. That’s time you could be spending on another task or relaxation.
Can you think of some tasks where good enough is ok? It might take some practice to let go of perfection but the time-saving benefit will be worth it.
3.) Order groceries online
Most grocery chains offer a pickup or delivery service or they partner with Instacart or Shipt. I’ve been ordering groceries online for a long time and it’s so much easier and quicker to search for a product on the grocery app than wandering down aisles. And it stops impulse buys by both me and my kids!
Some of you may worry about produce selection. I’ve rarely had an issue with the product quality or unacceptable out of stock substitutions. I’d encourage you to try it out, just to see if it will work for you.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Walmart grocery pickup (they also have delivery but I have not tried that yet). If you’ve never tried it before, use this link to get $10 off your first order of $50. Even if you are nervous about produce selection, you can stock up on personal care, household items and pantry items.
4.) stop dealing with paper
Paper clutter not only makes your house messy, but it’s also a time suck. Think about how much time you spend sorting mail and filing papers. Save time by eliminating paper clutter. Cut back on the amount of paper coming into your house and learn a system of organizing paper that is not so time consuming.
5.) Batch Tasks
Consolidate similar tasks so they are done in the same time block. Some good tasks to batch are:
- Running errands – instead of doing one a day, get them done at the same time.
- Making phone calls – make and return calls at set times during the day
- Email – limit the number of times you check, respond and write emails to just a couple of times per day.
- Paying bills – you should be able to limit the number of times per month you pay bills. Group bills by the due date and see if you can schedule 2 days per month to review and pay bills. This will of course depend on due dates. Or better yet, use auto-pay to set up payments to automatically withdraw on set dates.
6.) Multitask…Some Tasks
Multitasking doesn’t work with tasks that require a lot of brainpower. But it can be a big time saver for some tasks. And multitasking these tasks should be super easy to implement.
- Pumping gas- make the most of the time you are waiting for your tank to fill up to do quick tasks. The most obvious one is to do a light cleaning of your car. Empty out any trash and keep a dusting cloth in the car to dust the dashboard.
- Waiting at the doctors off, school pick-up line, etc. – Instead of aimlessly scrolling through social media, have a shortlist of quick tasks that can be completed when you have a few minutes of time available.
- Cleaning – Listen to the audio version of the book you’ve been dying to read (but don’t have time for) while cleaning or folding laundry. As a bonus, it makes doing chores less of a chore.
7.) Log your time
Time logging is when you write down exactly how you are spending your time. Ironically, doing this will actually take time for a bit but it will help you save time in the long run. Track your time for a short period of time, like 1-2 weeks. By seeing how you are spending you’re time, you’ll be able to identify areas where you can save time. For example, you may notice that you are going to the grocery too many times during the week. The solution would be to have a meal plan and grocery list so you are prepared and don’t need to grocery shop as often.
8.) Meal Plan and prep
Creating a meal plan for the week or month will help save time by limiting the number of grocery trips and consolidating meal prep tasks such as chopping veggies in advance. If you are scheduling your day, then having a meal plan will help know how much time to set aside for cooking.
Not sure where to start with meal planning and prep? Check out How to Meal Plan.
9.) Sign up for subscription services
Save time by buying your household, personal care and pet supplies through subscription services. Don’t waste time shopping for products you need on a regular basis. Instead, use a subscription service to buy it once and then have it delivered on a set schedule. Plus, most subscription services offer an initial or ongoing discount, like Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program.
I even use a subscription service for the air filter in our home. I don’t need to remember when to change the filter…I just change it when it arrives in the mail. I set up which filter I need and how often I change it and then all I have to do is wait for it to arrive. Actually, I don’t even think about it until it arrives and then I quickly switch it out.
10.) Develop routines and systems
Beyond planning your week, setting up routines will help you save time. Having routines for everyday tasks will not only help you be more organized, it will help you use your time efficiently.
An example of time saving routine is setting a timer or playlist to limit time spent getting ready in the morning.
11.) Declutter your house
Having a decluttered and organized house means less time looking for the stuff you need. It also means that everything has a place and if it’s well organized, you’re more likely to put it away, saving time for both tidying up and being able to quickly find what you need.
12.) declutter your time
Are you spending time on tasks or commitments that aren’t important to you? We all have some things on our to-do list that aren’t important to us. The way to overcome this is to learn to say no or delegate. This goes along with creating a schedule so you are focusing your time on tasks that are important. Tasks that aren’t important need to be eliminated or delegated.
Asking for help and letting go of control can be hard. Someone else might not do as good of a job or they may do it in a different way than you. You may need to lower your standards (remember, done is better than perfect) or accept that someone else has a different way of doing things. It’s not always easy to do but it will get easier the more you do it.
14.) simplify your wardrobe
Simplifying your wardrobe can be done in several ways.
- Limit the number of clothes you have. This leads to less laundry to do. Also, it will be easier to organize and to see what you have.
- Invest in low care clothing. Spend less time on special laundering and ironing.
- Choose clothes that are easy to mix and match so it’s quicker to decide what to wear.
- Set up dry cleaning pickup and delivery service. If you absolutely need clothing with special care, it will save you time to set up pick up and delivery with a dry cleaner.
15) Time block
Time blocking is the method of scheduling your tasks into blocks of time, similar to how you put appointments and meetings on your calendar. This method helps track how long you are working on a track so you know if you’re spending too much time on one task.
It can also help limit or eliminate time-wasting bad habits by scheduling them into shorter blocks of time.
Which time saving hack will you try?
You don’t need to implement all 15 time saving tips at one time. Many times if you try to make too many change at one time, none of them end up sticking. Pick 1-3 and really focus on incorporating them into your daily life. Then gradually add in others.